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Awake during a heart transplant operation

One of my favorite things to do is  to see God dramatically change a person, transplanting his heart of compassion for their own self-focused heart.  Ian Schumann is going through a heart transplant operation and is awake, watching himself. It makes for a fascinating blog.  Here …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
One of my favorite things to do is  to see God dramatically change a person, transplanting his heart of compassion for their own self-focused heart.  Ian Schumann is going through a heart transplant operation and is awake, watching himself. It makes for a fascinating blog.  Here he is blogging from a remote location in Kenya.
 
This week is
cool. Uncomfortable, hot, draining, stretching. Somehow familiar.
Somehow like coming home. Everyday something is changing. Hearts are
shifting, if only a little.
 


“The fact that I can look starving
orphans in the eyes and continue on with my day,” I said to my team
yesterday, “strongly suggests I have some serious defense mechanisms in
place.” But yesterday I was tired. My armor was cracked, eroded. A
little girl in a filthy green dress walked past me, barefoot and naive
in the sand.
 
The upbeat music seemed so heartbreakingly unsympathetic,
so dissonant with what was before my eyes. A welling-up came. The crowd
disappeared, the music muffled–only this girl remained, and my sad
cruel jagged heart started to break.
 


And then the moment passed. I teetered at the edge, and wavered, hesitant.

Had I been a little more weary, my defenses run a little more
threadbare, I know what could have happened. The wrecking ball. On some
level, I want this–and it is
coming. But I’m afraid of it. What happens after the breakdown? For X
number of hours, days (weeks?), I am utterly incapacitated. Useless.
Incoherent. I’m Ron Burgundy inside a glass case of emotion. I have
nothing insightful or conclusive to say, nothing enlightened or
authoritative to do. If this happens, for a time I will just hurt for
this hurting world, and I’ll be incapacitated.

Funny, coming from a guy who so much values his own personal capacity.
***

I was talking to Jake about all this
“breakdown” stuff last night, and it’s interesting now in retrospect.
During the course of the week we both started to realize that the kind
of punctuated wrecking moment we’ve heard about or imagined may not
ever come, or need to.
We both had experiences this week that pushed us
to our personal “edge,” then both of us seemed to back off from that
precipice, and yet both of us were grown and changed in the process
anyway. Almost as if to say: the fact that we approached the “edge” at
all, the fact that we even noticed the strain–that’s already evidence of the change that’s taking place.
 

Although it may come at some point, there’s no need for a crazy breakdown episode in order for God to be changing our hearts in big ways.

 
For another great blog in this brokenness genre, see this one by Neil Bruinsma.


Comments (3)

  • Thanks for posting this. Ian’s got some great words, an incredibly gift for openness, and an awesome heart. I like what he says… a lot. I’m trying to think of a way to utilize his story (not just this blog), but his STORY. It really intrigues me.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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